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Tuesday, 08 October 2019 13:49

Ficklin Invited to London Embassy

TASTE News Service, October 8, 2019 -- Ficklin Vineyards, America's oldest Port winery established in 1946, recently received a request from the US Embassy in London for their award-winning Port to serve at upcoming Embassy dinners.

Friday, 20 November 2015 15:01

November 20, 2015 Wine Pick of the Week

Noval Tawny Picmonkey

Tawny Reserve Porto

 

Quinta Do Noval

Portugal

Alcohol: 20%

Suggested Retail: $20-25?

 

“Earlier this week a blustery night put your reviewer in the mood for an after-dinner drink—something that would warm the soul. There was the bottle of Irish whiskey (Bushmill’s Black Bush), but he was in more of an English mood.

"Foraging in the cellar, he found a bottle of Port. The front label indicated it was Tawny Reserve Porto from the firm Quinta do Noval. Their wines are marketed in the U.S, but since the back label was all in Portuguese, the bottle was likely a souvenir from a trip to Portugal five or six years ago.

Madera’s Ficklin Vineyards celebrated their 65th anniversary in the Port business last September. The focus now, as it was from the start, is to make authentic Ports from four traditional Portuguese grape varieties planted in the family vineyard in 1945. One of the most popular wines Ficklin still produces is the Old Vine Tinta Port, which was first released in October, 1951. It is an aged ruby style that originated with David Ficklin, the original winemaker. The solera system for that wine was started with the first Ports made at Ficklin in 1948.

Today, two-hundred and fifty-six American oak barrels and sixty-seven European puncheons provide a total puncheons at Ficklin SMALLPuncheons in the Ficklin solera.capacity of over 23,000 gallons for that solera system. Housed in Ficklin’s historic adobe brick winery building, these barrels and puncheons have provided for the consistent flavor development of the Old Vine Tinta Port for over sixty years.

A solera system for wine is a fractional blending system, meaning that only a fraction of the wines progress through to the level of ageing at any time. As the wine is slowly moved through this solera system, a newer three year-old Port from each of the four Portuguese grape varieties is carefully blended to be added to the solera. Current winemaker, Peter Ficklin looks at each varietal component, and how that individual wine will provide the rich and full flavors that will develop into the complex layers found in the Old Vine Tinta Port. This younger wine is used to top-off the sixty-seven puncheons that are the first layer in the solera system. Smaller fifty gallon barrels make up the last level of this sixty year-old solera system. The resulting Port withdrawn from this last stage shows tremendous consistency and character as it is readied for bottling. Consequently, every barrel and puncheon, every bottle, as well as every glass and sip of the Old Vine Tinta Port has a diminishing percentage of the every single vintage since 1948. It is truly a living picture of the history of wines made at Ficklin.

Highly regarded and esteemed through the years, the Old Vine Tinta Port has been a consistent award winner for many decades. It is truly a wine for all ages, as it pairs well with many

desserts, such as fresh fruit, cheesecakes, dark chocolate, as well as the traditional blue-veined cheeses.

 

OLD VINE TINTA PORT

AWARD HISTORY

 

Best In Class 2009 National Women's Wine Competition

Critics Gold 2008 Critics Challenge International Wine Competition

Top Fortified Wine 2007 Beverage Testing Institute World Value Wine Challenge

Best Of Class 2002 Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition

 

DOUBLE GOLD

2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

2009 National Women's Wine Competition

2009 Best in Appellation Competition

2009 Lodi International Wine Competition

2004 International Eastern Wine Competition

2002 International Eastern Wine Competition

2000 El Dorado County Fair Wine Competition

 

GOLD MEDALS

2011 California State Fair, Sacramento

2009 Long Beach Grand Cru Competition

2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

2008 Critics Challenge International Wine Competition

2008 San Diego International Wine Competition

2008 Monterey Wine Competition

2008 Lodi International Wine Competition

2006 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition

2006 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

2003 Riverside International Wine Competition

2002 Long Beach Grand Cru

2002 Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition

2000 Riverside International Wine Competition

2000 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition

1999 Dallas Morning News National Wine Competition

1999 Taster's Guild International Wine Judging

1998 American Wine Society

1998 Taster's Guild International Wine Judging

1997 New World International Wine Competition

1996 California State Fair, Sacramento

1996 El Dorado County Fair Wine Competition

1996 Jerry Mead's "On Wine"

1996 Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition

1991 Beverage Testing Institute

1989 Orange County Fair Wine Competition

 

Editor's note: Links to websites of wineries in Madera County and other parts of Central Valley, as well as hundreds of links to lodging and dining options, are found at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.

 

 

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